Opal outlet shortage in the Illawarra

There are just 16 Opal card retailers in the Illawarra, and still none near key stations on the South Coast line, according to a government website.

However, Transport for NSW said it was working with a number of retailers in the area and this could change in the future.

On Monday, Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced Opal cards would be available for purchase at more than 1000 outlets across the state from next week.

These include petrol stations, convenience stores and newsagents.

The website that lists the retail locations shows none close to Thirroul and Helensburgh stations.

At this stage, beyond pop-up kiosks that will be open until September 1, the government also has no plans to sell the cards on station platforms.

The Transport for NSW spokesman said the kiosks would feature at several South Coast stations at various times this month with further stations to be confirmed.

"Opal pop-up kiosks will rotate across major South Coast line stations, including Dapto, Helensburgh, North Wollongong, Thirroul and Wollongong," he said.

The Mercury reported last week that commuters catching trains from hub stations like Thirroul and Helensburgh faced a long walk to the nearest retailer.

The closest retailer to Thirroul station isn't even in the same suburb - it's the BP service station in Woonona, 3.6 kilometres away.

At Helensburgh station, the closest retailer is a newsagency - a 2.6-kilometre walk away.

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